Transcript NewsCenter Podcast

NewsCenter Podcast

May 18, 2022

Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County NewsCenter podcast. Coming up, learn about the Environmental Excellence Awards, Juneteenth at Frying Pan Farm Park, pickleball coming to George Washington Park, the ongoing opioid epidemic, Building Safety Month and National Trails Day. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at


Each year, the Environmental Excellence Awards recognize the best examples of leadership and service to protect and enhance the natural world around us in Fairfax County. The awards celebrate accomplishments by individual county residents, organizations, businesses, and county employees who do one or more of the following:

  • Advance or support the county’s environmental goals and policies.
  • Dedicate personal time and expertise beyond normal fiscal or civic responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate leadership, acting as role models for others.

In 2022, the call for nominations will officially close at 11:59 p.m. on July 15. Nominees’ achievements should have occurred between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, or over a period of years that include a portion of this time frame. The nomination form is available online and should be submitted via email to


Fairfax County families are invited to celebrate African American stories, food traditions, music and more at Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Juneteenth activities will include special guest storyteller Diane Macklin, musician John G. Lewis, crafts, history and food trucks. The event is free and open to the public, but please register by June 11. Juneteenth is an American holiday that celebrates the June 19, 1865, event that finally released the remaining enslaved people in the U.S. This Juneteenth event is supported by the Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park. Frying Pan Park is located at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon. For more information, visit, or call 703-437-9101.


The aging courts at George Washington Park are being improved. The staff-recommended improvements consist of a new configuration of six dedicated pickleball courts, and two dual-use courts with both tennis and pickleball lines. All the courts will receive new surfacing, nets, and fencing. These court improvements are timely as the courts at the park require resurfacing and repair. The staff-recommended improvements align with recommendations in the recently completed Pickleball Study, and is an effort to introduce a greater variety of court sports to accommodate the diverse users across the county. The interest in pickleball locally and countywide is growing quickly, and the introduction of pickleball at this location will help address additional facilities for this emerging sport. Public comment on the proposal can be forwarded now through May 27, to Again, that's The final configuration of the courts will be determined by early June and will be informed by public sentiment in regard to the recommended improvements, and the findings of the park authority's recent research into pickleball demand in Fairfax County.


The opioid epidemic continues to impact the Northern Virginia region and the nation, including Fairfax County. Fentanyl is extremely fatal, even in the smallest doses. Similar to national and statewide trends, most fatal overdoses in Fairfax County in recent years have involved fentanyl, which is a common substitute or cutting agent in illicit narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, MDMA (also known as ecstasy or molly), as well as counterfeit pills. Nationally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports a dramatic rise in the number of counterfeit pills containing at least two milligrams of fentanyl, which is considered a deadly dose. Counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl can look the same as authentic pills, making it almost impossible to know whether a pill has a deadly dose of fentanyl or not. NewsCenter has more on this issue, including what you need to know, what you can do, and resources to help. Find NewsCenter online at


Warm weather has finally arrived, and, even though outdoor activities are calling, spring is the time of year we recognize building safety (although it's important to think about these issues year-round). Here’s several things you can do to ensure your home is safe.

  • Always hire a licensed contractor to do the more complicated projects around your home.
  • Ensure that all work completed on your home is properly permitted and inspected.
  • Remember, all buildings need regular maintenance and inspections to keep residents safe.

For more on “Building Safety” month, visit NewsCenter at


National Trails Day is celebrated each year on the first Saturday in June. It is a great time to commit to leaving the trails and outdoor communities better than when you found them. Walking on trails has many health benefits. Physical benefits include building stronger muscles and bones, improving balance, improving heart health, and decreasing the risk of some respiratory issues. Mental health benefits include improved mood, reduced stress, lower risk of depression and anxiety, and improved sensory perception. This year, the Fairfax County Park Authority is celebrating trails day in several ways: with hikes at numerous locations, events at several sites and a new topic page filled with information about the trail system in Fairfax County, and how you can enjoy this convenient resource right outside your backdoor. For more information, visit the National Trails Day page,


Finally, get more Fairfax County news and event information at


That’s all for this NewsCenter podcast. Thanks for listening. For more information about the topics in this podcast and for news updates, visit You also may call 703-FAIRFAX, that’s 703-324-7329, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or email News to Use is produced by the Fairfax County, Va., Government. 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant